Manila, Philippines – WHAT happens when classes are called off, or as they put it, suspended, due to inclement weather, such as rain and flooding?
Chaos is what befalls the city. And the children, they catch cold wading in the floods, waiting for a ride. They join the army of stranded commuters and, as a bright-eyed kid told a TV reporter, “It takes a whole lot longer for us to get home.”
Whether the announcement to call off classes comes late or later or on time, whether it comes from PAGASA, MMDA, the mayor’s office, or the principal, a suspension means suspension of normalcy. Fetchers and fetched are caught flatfooted as scheduled pickups go haywire. The children get wet – not only the people in charge, whoever they may be, if they are, indeed, in charge. The children are miserable, and they know it’s not just the rain to put the blame on.
Why confine the wet and miserable inconveniences to children? As one college student tweeted a TV anchor, “Are college students waterproof, that a typhoon signal no. 3 is needed to excuse them from class?”(Someone, tell them college students they’re supposed to be smart enough to decide when to stay off the streets and remain indoors, at home.)
And speaking of smarts. Can somebody explain how a brilliant mind or minds in the bureaucracy ever came up with a tongue-twister spelled National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council – NDRRMC – to label an agency created to handle emergencies? Tell me, how many college students and college professors exist in the real world who can pronounce the name without stuttering, stammering, or wondering what the heck it means?